By Jorge Cirett
During the 7th week of the year (February 14th to February 20th, 2022), at least 28 press releases were announced by companies working in Mexico. To note, seven companies posted exploration advances on their properties, three released quarterly reports, and one informed on a fatal accident on its facilities. One company is conducting a private placement and one more has commenced to receive royalties. Eleven companies posted on expansion/infill drilling on their properties and/or metallurgical testing, one company sold a large property, one is about to proceed with a merge and one more informed on a Supreme Court decision that is to put its mining concessions on peril. ON MEXICO ISSUES, The Santa Barbara mine in Chihuahua has seen its employee work force augment considerably as result of the outsourcing ban. The Supreme Court ruled Almaden Minerals mining concessions in Puebla are to be subject to an indigenous communities consultation process. In Guerrero, the creation of a state’s mining promotion organism was proposed. Work was halted by authorities at the San Francisco mine in Sonora after an accident resulting in the death of three employees. Grupo Mexico blasted the participation in Congress of senator Napoleón Gómez Urrutia. ON EXPLORATION, in Sonora, Tarachi Gold is to explore La Texana; Tocvan Ventures informed on drilling at Pilar; Mexus Gold updated on its Scorpio property; Aztec Minerals released assay results from RC drilling at Cervantes. In Chihuahua, Monarca Minerals presented stream sediment results from its San José project. In Coahuila, Monumental Minerals completed an airborne magnetic and radiometric survey at Jemy. In Nayarit, Sierra Madre Gold and Silver released trenching results from La Tigra. ON MINING, Argonaut Gold, Capstone Mining, and Starcore International presented quarterly and/or yearly reports. Magna Gold reported a fatal accident involving three of its employees at the San Francisco mine in Sonora. ON FINANCING, Tarachi Gold announced a non-brokered private placement for USC$4 M. Orogen Royalties has begun to receive NSR from the Ermitaño deposit mining in Sonora. ON RESOURCES AND DEVELOPMENT, Southern Silver Exploration reported high-grade extensions at Cerro Las Minitas, Durango. Golden Tag Resources released drill results from San Diego, in Durango. Chesapeake Gold presented drilling results from Metates, in Durango. Capitan Mining reported drill results from Jesus María, at the Peñoles project in Durango. Golden Minerals reported results from drilling at Yoquivo, Chihuahua. Guanajuato Silver provided results from drilling at El Cubo. Zacatecas Silver reported drilling results from the Panuco vein in Zacatecas. GR Silver Mining reported drilling results from the Trampolín and Corta Pico veins at the Plomosas project in Sinaloa. Prime Mining released results from drilling at Los Reyes, in Sinaloa. Vizsla Silver reported results from metallurgical tests on ore from the Napoleon resource at Panuco, in Sinaloa. ON DEALS AND CORPORATE ISSUES, Sun Summit Minerals sold three large properties to Green Earth Metals. Capstone Mining is to vote on the combination with Mantos Copper. Almaden Minerals informed on the decision reached by the Supreme Court of Justice of Mexico respect of a mineral lawsuit involving the company’s mining concessions. ON SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY, Grupo Mexico, Industrias Peñoles, Fresnillo PLC, Minera Palmarejo and SilverCrest informed on social and environmental actions taken to conduct to a better society.
ON MEXICO ISSUES
- The mining company at Santa Barbara, Chihuahua has increased its employee force from 750 to 1,120 as result of last year’s outsourcing reform.
- The Mexican Supreme Court suspended mining claims on northern Puebla. The ruling affects claims owned by Minera Gorrion (Alamaden Minerals subsidiary), that now will be subject to a consultation process on indigenous communities. (Note.- This is to have profound implications for the Mexican mining industry, because there is not a legal framework to carry out these exercises, and the lack of formal criteria to define an indigenous community and its reaches).
- In Guerrero was proposed the creation of a Dirección General de Minería, to promote mining in the state.
- Grupo Mexico blasted the Congress speech of senator Napoleón Gómez Urrutia. The company’s press release stated the senator repeatedly lied on the Pasta de Conchos tragedy and on non-existent worker strikes, emphasizing the fact that he has not delivered the US$55 M payment to workers entitled to receive it, same that he kept on his coffers to sustain an extravagant lifestyle.
- Work was halted on Magna Gold’s San Franciso mine in Sonora, after the field review by members of the state’s Dirección de Inspección y Vigilancia de Protección Civil, on the death of three of its employees in a tragic accident.
- Tarachi Gold Corp. announced plans for exploration at its 300 hectares La Texana property, in Sonora. “The fieldwork will entail detailed geological and structural mapping and rock sampling of the entire concession……”. The goal is to find mineralization like that encountered in nearby high sulfidation, porphyry gold targets and structurally controlled polymetallic deposits.
- Sierra Madre Gold and Silver Ltd. released results from trenching at its La Tigra project in Nayarit. Highlighted intervals comprise 4.9 m @ 0.46 gpt Au; 11.0 m @ 1.03 gpt Au; 2.0 m @ 4.13 gpt Au; 12.0 m @ 2.85 gpt Au; 4.5 m @ 6.94 gpt Au. Access has been gained to the 100 and 200 levels of the historic El Tigre mine.
- Tocvan Ventures Corp. informed a second drill rig has been mobilized to its Pilar project in Sonora. A twin diamond hole, still to be assayed, displays “a heavily oxidized and fractured mineralized breccia” in the interval mirroring 9.2 m @ 10.8 gpt Au, 38 gpt Ag of the past RC hole. “Mineralization appears to be primarily hosted in an intensely silicified breccia with pyrite and in select areas copper sulphides (chalcopyrite and cuprite)”.
- Mexus Gold US. presented an update on its 9,173 acress Scorpio project in Sonora. Mineralization is “interpreted as a major 2 kilometer long gold and base metal structure. Trenching and surface sampling assays have been extremely promising and suggests a follow up drilling program. The company will seek to joint venture this property with an exploration company”.
- Aztec Minerals Corp. released assay results from the first hole of the phase 2 reverse circulation drilling campaign at Cervantes, in Sonora. The highlighted interval of the hole in the California target comprises 88.41 m @ 1.1 gpt Au (including 54.9 m @ 1.56 gpt Au). “mineralization appears to be widely distributed in disseminations, fractures and veinlets within a quartz-feldspar porphyry stock and related hydrothermal breccias……. The area currently being drilled measures approximately 800 metres long by 300 metres wide, with demonstrated, continuous mineralization of up to 170 metres depth. The porphyry gold-copper mineralization is still open in all directions”.
- Monarca Minerals Inc. announced results from stream sediment pan concentrate sampling at its San José project in Chihuahua. “Numerous drainages show anomalous values of Au, As, Cu, Pb and Zn. Drainages with anomalous values extend approximately 8 km from near the northern limit of the concessions to the southern limit of the concessions”.
- Monumental Minerals Corp. completed the airborne magnetic and radiometric geophysical survey over its Jemy project in Coahuila. “A total of approximately 1,121 line-km was completed over 13 survey days” on the heavy rare earth element project (Terbium, Dysprosium, Neodymium, Praseodymium).
- Argonaut Gold Inc. presented its Q4 and full-year 2021 report, including figures from its Mexican operations. The company’s consolidated production in Mexico was 47,625 Oz AuEq during the Q4, and 189,941 Oz AuEq for the full year 2021. Selected drilling results from La Colorada in Sonora comprises true width intervals of 5.8 m @ 1.5 gpt Au, 29 gpt Ag; 5.7 m @ 4.1 gpt Au, 12 gpt Ag; 26.1 m @ 5.2 gpt Au, 12 gpt Ag (including 7.3 m @ 16.8 gpt Au, 29 gpt Ag); 28.9 m @ 2.0 gpt Au, 14 gpt Ag; 33.2 m @ 2.5 gpt Au, 7 gpt Ag; 11.0 m @ 1.0 gpt Au, 3 gpt Ag; 52.5 m @ 2.3 gpt Au, 17 gpt Ag; 16.9 m @ 1.3 gpt Au, 18 gpt Ag.
- Capstone Mining Corp. announced production and financial result for the Q4 and full year 2021, including figures on its Mexican operations. At Cozamin in Zacatecas, processing ore at a rate of 3,724 tonnes per day (tpd) produced 14.5 M Lb Cu during the quarter, adding up to 187.1 M Lb Cu in the year, at cash cost $1.81 per Lb Cu produced. Cash and cash equivalents added up to $264.4 M by the end of the year.
- Magna Gold Corp. reported a fatal accident involving three employees at is San Francisco mine in Sonora. “Three mine employees were in the fine ore storage area when a cave-in occurred…….. The cause of the cave-in is unclear at this time and an investigation will be conducted to determine the cause of the accident”.
- Starcore International Mines Ltd. released results for the quarter ended January 31, 2022. At the San Martin mine in Queretaro. During the quarter 56.7 K tonnes were milled @ 1.46 gpt Au, 21.1 gpt Ag, recovering 88.1% Au, 45.8% Ag, to produce 2,588 Oz AuEq.
- Tarachi Gold Corp. announced a non-brokered private placement financing aimed to raise up to C$4 M. Ausenco Engineering Inc. committed to subscribe a total participation of C$1.98 M (Magistral Mill and Tailings, Durango).
- Orogen Royalties Inc. received the first quarterly royalty payment of US$480 K from initial production at the Ermitaño deposit in Sonora. “Orogen organically generated a 2% net smelter return (“NSR”) royalty on the sale of the Ermitaño project to First Majestic Silver Corp.”. A total of 103.7 K tonnes @5.28 gpt Au, 49 gpt Ag were processed.
ON RESOURCES AND DEVELOPMENT
- Southern Silver Exploration Corp. reported extensions of high-grade Ag-polymetallic mineralization at the North Felsite Target on the Cerro Las Minitas project, in Durango. Highlighted true width intervals comprise 11.8 m @ 185 gpt Ag, 0.2 gpt Au, 2.8% Pb, 1.0% Zn (including 3.0 m @ 354 gpt Ag, 0.7 gpt Au, 6.1% Pb, 2.6% Zn); 3.7 m @ 174 gpt Ag, 0.5 gpt Au, 1.5% Pb, 0.9% Zn; 5.7 m @ 234 gpt Ag, 0.3% Cu, 1.1% Pb, 2.0% Zn (including 3.2 m @ 379 gpt Ag, 0.5% Cu, 1.7% Pb, 2.6% Zn). These holes extend the mineralization projection 400 m below the surface and 250 m along strike.
- Golden Tag Resources Ltd. released results from three diamond holes targeting bulk-tonnage mineralization at the San Diego project in Durango. Highlighted core-length intervals comprise 1.22 m @ 517 gpt Ag, 0.2 gpt Au, 8.5% Pb, 14.0% Zn; 1.00 m @ 751 gpt Ag, 0.12 gpt Au, 0.7% Pb, 1.3% Zn; 2.10 m @ 296 gpt Ag, 0.27 gpt Au, 0.8% Pb, 1.0% Zn; 11.00 m @ 51 gpt Ag, 0.26 gpt Au, 1.0% Pb, 1.0% Zn; 240.30 m @ 32 gpt Ag, 0.04 gpt Au, 0.5% Pb, 0.7% Zn, or 83 gpt AgEq (including 111.98 m @ 40 gpt Ag, 0.05 gpt Au, 0.8% Pb, 0.9% Zn).
- Mexus Gold US. informed its Santa Elena property in Sonora is in testing capacity with an open pit and leaching gold recovery system. “Mexus is negotiating with a major mining/exploration company to joint venture or complete an exploration option to buy deal”. The Mabel property, also in Sonora comprises 4,832 acres has over 600 holes with estimated 45 K Oz Au, 500 K Oz Ag (Not 43-101 compliant) “Mexus reached an agreement with Irmex mining company, a Mexican corporation”.
- Chesapeake Gold Corp. presented results from five PQ size diamond drill holes as part of the infill program at its Metates project in Durango. The infill drill holes target the intrusive hosted mineralization and are spaced at 50-meter intervals. “The assay intervals which intersected intrusive mineralization were on average 9.4% higher in Au-Ag equivalent grade than estimated in the current resource block model”. Highlighted true width intervals comprise 282 m @ 1.02 gpt Au, 24 gpt Ag; 291 m @ 0.56 gpt Au, 11 gpt Ag; 399 m @ 0.99 gpt Au, 28 gpt Ag; 207 m @ 1.13 gpt Au, 12 gpt Ag; 297 m @ 1.19 gpt Au, 10 gpt Ag.
- Capitan Mining Inc. reported results from phase I drill program at Jesus Maria, within the Peñoles project in Durango. Highlighted core-length intervals comprise 42.7 m @ 154 gpt Ag, 0.37 gpt Au, 0.5% Pb, 0.7% Zn (including 1.5 m @ 1,044 gpt Ag, 1.03 gpt Au, 0.8% Pb, 0.7% Zn and 1.5 m @ 1,271 gpt Ag, 0.53 gpt Au, 0.5% Pb, 0.6% Zn); 9.1 m @ 8 gpt Ag, 0.23 gpt Au, 0.1% Zn; 4.6 m @ 23 gpt Ag, 0.22 gpt Au; 7.6 m @ 15 gpt Ag, 0.62 gpt Au; 6.1 m @ 37 gpt Ag, 0.27 gpt Au, 0.6% Pb, 1.4% Zn; 7.6 m @ 29 gpt Ag, 0.09 gpt Au, 1.0% Pb, 1.5% Zn; 3.0 m @ 77 gpt Ag, 0.17 gpt Au, 0.7% Pb, 1.8% Zn.
- Golden Minerals Co. reported further results from diamond drilling the Pertenencia, Dolar, Esperanza and Dolar Dos veins at the Yoquivo project in Chihuahua. Highlighted true width (tw) intervals from nine holes comprise 5.1 m @ 17.19 gpt Au, 2,403 gpt Ag (including 1.6 m @ 50.40 gpt Au, 6,990 gpt Ag); 0.6 m @ 3.40 gpt Au, 13 gpt Ag; 1.1 m @ 1.80 gpt Au, 3 gpt Ag; 1.0 m @ 3.90 gpt Au, 328 gpt Ag. Results for the last seven holes are being awaited.
- Guanajuato Silver Company Ltd. provided drilling results from ongoing drilling at El Cubo, in Guanajuato. Highlighted true-width intercepts comprise 6.35 m @ 0.69 gpt Au, 65 gpt Ag (120 gpt AgEq); 3.26 m @ 0.41 gpt Au, 77 gpt Ag (110 gpt AgEq); 7.02 m @ 0.41 gpt Au, 60 gpt Ag (92 gpt AgEq); 2.07 m @ 0.34 gpt Au, 64 gpt Ag (91 gpt AgEq); 2.51 m @ 0.43 gpt Au, 53 gpt Ag (88 gpt AgEq). El Cubo results remain consistent with projections and the Asuncion vein has returned “notable” results.
- Zacatecas Silver Corp. reported drilling results from the Panuco Norte vein in Zacatecas. Highlighted core-length intervals comprise 6.87 m @ 145 gpt Ag, 0.2 gpt Au (160 gpt AgEq); 4.13 m @ 165 gpt Ag, 0.15 gpt Au (175 gpt AgEq); 1.23 m @ 723 gpt Ag, 0.36 gpt Au (750 gpt AgEq); 1.47 m @ 199 gpt Ag, 0.11 gpt Au (207 gpt AgEq). Drilling has intercepted near-surface mineralization for 500 m, remaining open along strike and at depth. There are several holes pending results.
- GR Silver Mining Ltd. reported exploration results of the Trampolín and Corta Pico vein systems at its Plomosas project in Sinaloa. Selected drilling intervals from the Trampolín vein with apparent widths comprise 12.0 m @ 0.64 gpt Au (including 3.3 m @ 1.77 gtp Au and 0.8 m @ 3.38 gpt Au); 7.2 m @ 0.44 gpt Au (including 2.6 m @ 0.99 gpt Au), plus 0.1% to 0.9% combined Pb-Zn. Apparent width channel sample results from the Trampolín and
Corta Pico veins comprise 4.5 m @ 2.50 gpt Au, 57 gpt Ag (including 2.0 m @ 4.45 gpt Au, 112 gpt Ag); 4.1 m @ 1.35 gpt Au, 6 gpt Ag (including 0.40 m @ 9.70 gpt Au, 44 gpt Ag). The Trampolín “vein is composed of a quartz-cemented crackle breccia with small amounts of galena and pyrite, hosted within an andesitic ignimbrite”.
- Prime Mining Corp. announced drill results from 17 holes at Los Reyes project in Sinaloa. The holes targeted the northern extension of the Zapote-Tahonitas structure, adding 450 m to the structure, for a total length of 3 km. Highlighted true-width intervals comprise 34.7 m @ 4.89 gpt Au, 22 gpt Ag (including 2.9 m @ 23.13 gpt Au, 61 gpt Ag; 1.5 m @ 41.5 gpt Au, 40 gpt Ag); 12.8 m @ 1.34 gpt Au, 24 gpt Ag (including 1.9 m @ 3.22 gpt Au, 36 gpt Ag); 1.5 m @ 3.06 gpt Au, 30 gpt Ag; 7.4 m @ 1.29 gpt Au, 26 gpt Ag (including 0.5 m @ 4.93 gpt Au, 42 gpt Ag); 12.0 m @ 1.00 gpt Au, 6 gpt Ag. The structure consists of quartz veins, stringer zones and quartz breccias, including greenish colored quartz, that range from 5 to more than 35 m in width, averaging 15 to 20 m.
- Vizsla Silver Corp. reported metallurgical test results for the Napoleon resource area at its Panuco project in Sinaloa. A total of 330 Kg of ore from six holes were tested by direct cyanidation leach, bulk sulfide flotation, sequential flotation and gravity concentration. Bulk flotation yielded recoveries of up to 93% Ag, 90% Au, 94% Pb, 94% Zn. Sequential flotation yielded Pb and Zn concentrates with recoveries of up to 88% Ag, 88% Au, 96% Pb, 96% Zn. Direct cyanide leach tests yielded recoveries of up to 87% Ag, 93% Au after 48 hours. Gravity separation testing recovered 29% Ag, 40% Au.
ON DEALS AND CORPORATE ISSUES
- Sun Summit Minerals Corp. sold its property and royalty interests on 92,488 hectares in Mexico to Green Earth Metals Inc. for 5 M shares and warrants for further 2 M shares. “The key properties which we sold are primarily porphyry copper targets, one of which is drill ready” (Espiritu, 1068 and Angeles, in Sonora).
- Capstone Mining Corp. informed that both institutional Shareholder Services (ISS) and Glass Lewis & Co. have recommended that shareholders vote for the proposed business combination with Mantos Copper Ltd. at the upcoming Special Meeting (Cozamin, Zacatecas).
- Almaden Minerals Ltd. informed on the decision reached by the Supreme Court of Justice of Mexico respect of the mineral lawsuit involving the company’s mining concessions. “In April 2019, a lower court in Puebla issued a decision that Mexico’s mining law is unconstitutional because it fails to include provisions requiring consultation of indigenous communities before the granting of a mineral title. The lawsuit uses the Company’s mineral claims to make the argument”. Currently there is only a draft of the decision that instructs the Economy Secretariat to declare Almaden claims ineffective and re-issue them after a consultation with indigenous communities. Almaden is to review the final decision when it becomes available before determining the next steps to take.
ON SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY
- Grupo Mexico informed on its promotion of environment care, tree planting and on work training at communities near its operations in Tlaxcala, Baja California Sur and Chihuahua.
- Industrias Peñoles and Fresnillo PLC let know on the strategies the companies have take on green energy, like the installation of eolic parks and the use of excess energy from a smelter to produce electricity.
- Minera Palmarejo is offering the free service of its medical clinic to communities near its operations in Chihuahua.
- La Llamarada, SilverCrest subsidiary, inaugurated the Tetuachi bridge, built by the company, on the Sonora River.
On the image below: Quartz-barite-specularite vein from a project in the Sonoran Desert. Picture by Jorge Cirett.